Mastering query

Posted by: Chunky on 12 August 2018

Vinyl albums often have an etching in the run out grooves from the mastering engineer. For example, an album mastered by Masterdisk usually has the "Masterdisk" stamp, or you might see "A porky prime cut" which I understand referred to the mastering engineer, George Peckham.  If you have a vinyl album which on the cover states it was mastered at, say, Masterdisk, but the vinyl run out groove does not have the Masterdisk stamp, does anyone know if this means that the copy you have was not mastered at Masterdisk.



Posted on: 13 August 2018 by Richard Dane

The etching in the dead wax usually tells you about the cut - i.e. where or by whom the lacquer was cut, and sometimes where the vinyl was pressed.

So, you can have an LP where the master was mastered at say, Sterling or Masterdisk, but if the dead wax doesn't have the "Masterdisk" or "Sterling" stamp in the dead wax then the lacquer it originated from was probably cut elsewhere.  

Posted on: 13 August 2018 by Innocent Bystander

I used to wonde about Porky, back at the time when that was a common sight and no internet to search. My friends and I assumed it was some sort of in-joke. Now I know!

Posted on: 13 August 2018 by Richard Dane

George "Porky" Peckham cut a lot of great sounding rock LPs during the '70s and '80s.  He was perhaps most famous for cutting Monty Python's Matching Tie and Handkerchief LP, which had two separate grooves which mean't that you got two different sides depending on where you placed the stylus.

Look out for his etching of of "A Porky Prime Cut", "Porky" or "Pecko".  There are other variations on this too.

Others worth looking out for are the cuts by Denis Blackham "BILBO" who covered a similar period as George Peckham. He was mostly associated with Tape One.

Plenty of others too, but probably best take a look at somewhere like Discogs for further info.

Posted on: 13 August 2018 by AndyP19

When it comes to the people behind the scenes that 'produce' the music other than say George Martin, Phil Spector maybe Rick Rubin they are faceless names on album sleeves. Who has ever seen a picture of the legendary Stones producer Jimmy Miller who produced most of their classic output in the late 60's to early 70's or Glyn/Andy Johns - the list goes on.

But for me, the engineers are the unsung heroes of our music collections and I would buy any album, without even hearing it, engineered by Tchad Blake, Trina Shoemaker or Phill Brown to mention just a few. Oh and in the old days I'd include Alan Parsons, John Leckie and Ken Scott.

Likewise, the mastering engineers (of whom George Peckham is a legend), who complete the process, hardly get any praise at all. Steve Hoffman we know of mainly from his forum.  But what of Greg Calbi, Ray Staff, Mark Linett and the great Bob Luwig... I bet these names are on many of the albums we own, tucked somewhere in the small print or covertly referenced in the dead wax.

How many times have I heard 'Oh the production on that album is amazing' when it's probably the engineering, mixing and cutting - which the producer in many cases doesn't get involved with.

Posted on: 13 August 2018 by Chunky

Thanks for the replies.  I only found out last week who was behind "A Porky Prime Cut" when I searched on the internet.